Phia Ménard


‘A woman. Nothing, except for my birth certificate, betrays my bodily migration. (..) I have chosen to take on the stubborn role of the opinionated one to try and make others understand the necessity of seeing the body as malleable matter. I migrate from one status to another, requesting that my sentence be reduced. Learning is less conflictual than unlearning, of this I am sure. During an endless adolescence, I was forced to tailor my behaviour and attitude to conform with my appearance. The woman I kept hidden away in secret eventually turned me into an adult’. - Phia Ménard As a twenty-year-old, Phia Ménard (Nantes, 1971) was inspired when she saw the juggler Jérôme Thomas’ solo d’Extraballe (1990). She took courses in juggling, contemporary dance, mime and acting. She joined his company in 1995. Meanwhile, from 1997 on she also took dancing lessons and performed in short pieces from the dancers and choreographers Hervé Diasnas and Valérie Lamielle. She founded her own company in 1998: Compagnie Non Nova. In her own unique way, she started combining juggling, dance and theatre. After her debut Le Grain (‘The Grain’) she broke through in 2001 with the solo Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux (‘In 2008 her artistic career took a new direction with the project I.C.E. (Injonglabilité Complémentaire des Eléments), with the aim of examining the imaginative aspect of transformation and erosion through natural matter and the elements. P.P.P. (2008) was the first piece in this cycle, it was also her coming-out work. Questions surrounding gender identity have since played an important part in her work. From 2016 on, Ménard has been working on Contes Immoraux (‘Immoral Tales’). The complete trilogy is set to premiere in May 2021. Studies 1990-1995 studied dance, mime, acting; studied juggling with Jerome Thomas 1997 dancing lessons Herve Diasnas/Presence Mobility Danse Important events/pieces 1995-2003 member of Jerome Thomas’ company 1998 founded own company: Compagnie Non Nova. 1998 Le Grain 2001 Ascenseur, fantasmagorie pour élever les gens et les fardeaux 2008 announced new gender identity and coming-out piece P.P.P. 2008 I.C.E. (Injonglabilité Complémentaire des Eléments) 2015 Belle d’Hier 2015-2018 associate artist at the Théâtre Nouvelle Génération - Centre Dramatique National de Lyon au Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen / Basse-Normandie 2017 Contes Immoraux – Partie 1: Maison Mère 2018 Saison Sèche Prizes and awards 2014 Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres 2019 Award Le Topor/SACD de “La vie dans tous les sens”; Jury’s Prize at the 53e Belgrade International Theatre Festival 2019.